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as I had lent him, he run away, and is gone to sea. One of the aunts, who is now with me, (a widow lady) has an only daughter, a sober discreet body, who lived as a companion with an old gentlewoman in the country: but the poor innocent girl being drawn aside by a vile fellow that ruined her, I have been forced to support the unhappy mother and child ever since, to prevent any reproach falling on our family. I shall say nothing of the various presents, which have travelled down to my wife's uncle, in return for one turkey and chine received at Christmas; nor shall I put to account the charge I have been at in the gossip fees, and in buying corals, anodyne necklaces, &c. for half a dozen little nephews, nieces, and cousins, to which I had the honour of standing godfather.
And now, Mr. Town, the mention of this last circumstance makes me reflect with an heavy heart on a new calamity, which will shortly befal me. My wife, you must know, is very near her time and they have provided such a store of clouts, caps, forehead-cloths, biggens, belly-bands, whittles, and all kinds of childbed-linen, as would set up a lying-in hospital. You will conclude, that my family wants no farther increase: yet, would you believe it? I have just received a letter, acquainting me, that another aunt, and another cousin, are coming up in the stage coach to see their relation, and are resolved to stay with her the month. Indeed, I am afraid, when they have once got footing in my house, they will resolve to stay with her, till she has had another and another child. I am, Sir, your humble servant, &c.
No. LXXXI. THURSDAY, AUGUST 14.
..Genus humanum multo fuit illud in arvis
An hardy race of mortals, train❜d to sports,
Mr. Village to Mr. Town.
A MERE country squire, who passes all his time among dogs and horses, is now become an uncommon character; and the most awkward loobily inheritor of an old mansion-house is a fine gentleman in comparison to his forefathers. The principles of a town education formerly scarce spread themselves beyond the narrow limits of the bills of mortality: but now every London refinement travels to the remotest corner of the kingdom, and the polite families from the town daily import to their distant seats the customs and manners of Pall-mall and Grosvenor square.
I have been for this fortnight past at lord Courtly's, who for about four months in every year leads a town life at the distance of above two hundred miles from London. He never leaves his bed until twelve or one o'clock; though, indeed, he often sees the sun rise; but then that only happens, when, as the old song says, "he has drank down the moon." Drinking is the only rural amusement he pursues; but even that part of his diversions is conducted entirely in the London fashion. He does not swill country ale, but gets drunk with Champagne and Burgundy; and every dish at his table is served up with as much elegance as at White's or Ryan's. He has an excellent pack of hounds; but, I believe, was never in at the death
of a fox in his life: yet strangers never want a chace, for the hounds are out three times a week with a younger brother of lord Courtly's, who never saw London; and who, if he was not indulged with a place at his lordship's table, might naturally be considered as his whipper-in or his game keeper.
The evening walk is a thing unknown and unheard of at lord Courtly's: for, though situated in a very fine country, he knows no more of the charms of purling streams and shady groves, than if they never existed but in poetry or romance. As soon as the daily debauch after dinner, and the ceremonies of coffee and tea are over, the company is conducted into a magnificent apartment illuminated with wax candles, and set out with as many card-tables, as the rout of a foreign ambassador's lady. Here faro, whist, brag, lansquenet, and every other fashionable game, make up the evening's entertainment. This piece of politeness has often fallen heavy on some honest country gentlemen, who have found dining with his lordship turn out a very dear ordinary; and many a good lady has had occasion to curse the cards, and her illstarred connexions with persons of quality; though his lordship is never at a loss for a party; for as several people of fashion have seats near him, he often sits down with some of his friends of the club at White's. I had almost forgot to mention, that her ladyship keeps a day, which is Sunday.
This, dear cousin, is the genteel manner of living in the country; and I cannot help observing, that persons polite enough to be fond of such exquisite refinements, are partly in the same case with the mechanic at his dusty villa. They both, indeed, change their situation; but neither find the least alteration in their ideas. The tradesman, when at his box, has all the notions that employ him in the compting-house; and
the nobleman, though in the farthest part of England, may still be said to breathe the air of St. James's.
I was chiefly induced to send you this short account of the refined manner, in which persons of fashion pass their time at Lord Courtly's, because I think it a very striking contrast to the character described in the following transcript. I hope your readers will not do either you or me the honour to think this natural portraiture a mere creature of the imagination. The picture of the extraordinary gentleman here described is now at the seat of the lord Shaftesbury, at St. Giles's near Cranborn in Dorsetshire, and this lively character of him was really and truly drawn by Anthony Ashley Cowper, first earl of Shaftesbury, and is inscribed on the picture. I doubt not, but you will be glad of being able to communicate it to the public, and that they will receive it with their usual candour.
THE CHARACTER OF
THE HONOURABLE W. HASTINGS,
OF WOODLANDS IN HAMPSHIRE;
SECOND SON OF
FRANCIS EARL OF HUNTINGDON.
IN the year 1638 lived Mr. Hastings; by his quality son, brother, and uncle to the earls of Huntingdon. He was peradventure an original in our age; or rather the copy of our ancient nobility, in hunting,
not in warlike times.
He was low, very strong, and very active; of a reddish flaxen hair. His cloaths always green cloth, and never all worth (when new) five pounds.
His house was perfectly of the old fashion, in the midst of a large park well stocked with deer; and near the house rabbits to serve the kitchen: many fishponds; great store of wood and timber; a bowling green in it, long but narrow, full of high ridges, it being never levelled since it was ploughed. They us ed round sand bowls; and it had a banqueting-house, like a stand, built in a tree.
He kept all manner of sport hounds, that ran buck, fox, hare, otter, and badger. And hawks, long and short winged. He had all sorts of nets for fish. He had a walk in the New Forest, and the manor of Christ Church. This last supplied him with red deer, sea and river fish. And indeed all his neighbours grounds and royalties were free to him, who bestowed all his time on these sports, but what he borrowed to caress his neighbours wives and daughters; there being not a woman in all his walks of the degree of a yeoman's wife or under, and under the age of forty, but it was extremely her fault, if he was not intimately acquainted with her. This made him very popular: always speaking kindly to the husband, brother, or father: who was to boot, very welcome to his house, whenever he came. There he found beef, pudding, and small beer in great plenty. A house not so neatly kept as to shame him or his dirty shoes: the great hall strowed with marrow-bones, full of hawks-perches, hounds, spaniels and terriers; the upper side of the hall hung with fox-skins of this and the last year's killing; here and there a pole-cat intermixt: gamekeepers and hunters poles in great abundance.
The parlour was a large room as properly furnished. On a great hearth paved with brick lay some terriers, and the choicest hounds and spaniels. Seldom but two of the great chairs had litters of young cats in them; which were not to be disturbed; he having always three or four attending him at dinner; and a